Covishield becomes collateral damage in inter-EU fight over Chinese vaccines


New Delhi: Even though Indian-made Covishield is not on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) list used for the EU’s green pass, it appeared to have become collateral damage to the fight between the EU in the bloc over the offer to authorize Chinese and Russian vaccines for travelers. EU member countries were divided over whether to allow Chinese COVID-19 Sinopharm and Sino vac vaccines and Russian Sputnik V vaccines as the bloc opens up to travel.

Member countries have proposed a compromise formula, under which the EMA’s vaccine list has been agreed to be used for the green pass that goes into effect on July 1. The European Medicines Agency has listed 4 vaccines, namely Comirnaty (Pfizer), COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen, Spikevax (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna) and Vaxzevria from AstraZeneca.

It is important to know that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a commercial list. He is in charge of the scientific evaluation of medicines / vaccines with a view to their marketing authorization in the EU. The AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India – Covishield has been licensed for commercial use in South Asia, Africa, not Europe. This is one of the reasons SII never applied for the list.

The EU Green Pass or COVID Digital Certificate is intended to facilitate safe free movement during the COVID pandemic within the EU. The certificate serves as proof that a person has been vaccinated against the virus, received a negative test result, or has recovered from COVID-19. It is not a prerequisite for travel.

EU officials stressed: “For the purposes of the COVID digital certificate, individual member states will have the option of also accepting vaccinations authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO), such as Covishield.”

Each member country is also allowed to use any vaccine with which it agrees. Switzerland has made it clear that anyone who has been vaccinated or has recovered does not have to produce a negative test even when traveling from countries where the Delta variant is prevalent such as India or the United Kingdom. United. Ireland has classified Covishield as one of the vaccines for travelers coming to the country. France “is actively working” to clear Covishield after India raises the issue.

Interestingly, the EU could have used the World Health Organization or WHO’s approved vaccine list, which included Covishield, but that means giving a green light to the two Chinese vaccines on which the EU has a difference. Covishield, Sinovac, Sinopharm are among the 8 vaccines approved by the WHO.

In a statement to WION on Monday, the European Medicines Agency said Covishield does not currently have a marketing authorization in the block, stressing: “If we were to receive a marketing authorization application for Covishield… we would communicate about it. “

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